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The King of Fighters

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KOFXIVlogo

The King of Fighters XIV logo.

For the tournament, check The King of Fighters (tournament).

The King of Fighters (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ, Za Kingu ofu Faitāzu), officially abbreviated KOF, is the most prominent series of fighting games by SNK. Its claim to fame is the large cast of characters and the innovative "team" system, with both original designs and characters from other SNK games.

The series was originally developed for SNK's Neo Geo video game systems, which would continue until SNK retired the Neo Geo completely in 2004. For the next few games, the Atomiswave would be used, and later the Taito Type X2. Aside from this, ports of the arcade games and original The King of Fighters games have been released for the various consoles of then and now, such as SNK's own Neo Geo Pocket, the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, the Sega Saturn and the Dreamcast, the PlayStation and Xbox series of consoles, and even the N-Gage, among others.

The latest "main" game in the series, The King of Fighters XIV, was released on August 23, 2016 for the PlayStation 4.

Overview

Screenshot2001

Screenshot of The King of Fighters 2001

The first game in the series, The King of Fighters '94, was released by SNK in 1994. The game was designed to be a dream match of characters from the company's various arcade titles, particularly Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, and Psycho Soldier. The success of the game lead to SNK to release yearly installments of the series and numbered the games for the year they were released. With yearly sports games, each new version is meant to be an "update"; SNK did differently, making each year unique with new rules and a constantly changing character rosters even to this day. By 2004, SNK abandoned yearly releases of the series and usually numbered future games in a more traditional manner: the first main series game released as such was The King of Fighters XI

In 2004, SNK produced the first 3D installment of the series, KOF: Maximum Impact. The game and its two sequels use an alternate story for characters and settings from previous games of the series, leaning more towards the South Town-based series like FF and AOF. The producer of the Maximum Impact series, Falcoon, stated that the Maximum Impact games are in a different canon from the original series of games.

KOF98 kabe 1 1024

From right to left, Kyo Kusanagi, KOF's original hero and his rival Iori Yagami.

The King of Fighters tournament, the namesake of this series, actually originated in Fatal Fury, a classic SNK fighting game that predated the KOF series. The later Art of Fighting was centered around an earlier iteration, featuring typical sponsor Geese Howard in a younger self.

The King of Fighters games have had a number of villains as their individual end bosses. The first of these was Rugal Bernstein in '94 who had a tendency to submerge his defeated foes in liquid metal, turning them into grisly trophies commemorating his victories. During the Orochi saga, Orochi is introduced as an ominous force from ancient times bent on revenge on those who imprisoned it and was aided by his four heralds. In later games, a mysterious organization called NESTS attempts to kidnap and succeeds in cloning Kyo Kusanagi in hopes of using his power to take over the world. The leader of NESTS, who called himself Igniz, hoped to amass enough power to become a god. Other villains in later games include Mukai and "Those from the Past" that he affiliates himself with, including Magaki, as well as the Mephistopheles group (Maximum Impact series).

In order to preserve their characters' images, SNK ceased to age their characters since The King of Fighters '95 and they have remained the same ages since then. This means that characters introduced in The King of Fighters '94 have only aged one year in the series. To stay true to this theme, newer characters following this year also keep the same age they have when introduced. Some concessions to age and the passing of time exist, though, such as Terry's switch to his Garou outfit, or Kyo no longer being in high school since 1998. Ages have stopped being officially listed since KOF XI.

Games

Other Media

Comics

Drama CDs

Film and Animation

Card Game

In December 2006, Sabertooth Games released a King of Fighters 2006 collectible card game set along with Samurai Shodown V for it's Universal Fighting System (UFS) game. Other games like Street Fighter and Soul Calibur III are also included into the series. Character started packs were released for Terry Bogard, Mai Shiranui, and eventually Rock Howard.

Another trading card game was printed by the company Weib Shwarz on June 28, 2009. It's part of a campaign that allows collectors to exchange premium points for CDs and other collectibles.

Pachinko Games

Three pachinko slot games were developed for the series. One follows the Orochi saga (The King of Fighters) and the other follows the NESTS saga (The King of Fighters 2). The newest one (Maximum Impact) focuses on the series's 3D titles. A fourth slot game (The King of Fighters III) covers the Ash saga. These machines remain exclusive to Japan.

Mobile Games

Characters

Introduced in The King of Fighters '94

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters '95

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters '96

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters '97

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters: Kyo

Introduced in The King of Fighters '99

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters '99 Evolution

Introduced in The King of Fighters EX

Introduced in The King of Fighters 2000

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters EX2

Introduced in The King of Fighters 2001

Introduced in The King of Fighters 2002

Introduced in The King of Fighters 2003

Brought from other games:

Introduced in KOF: Maximum Impact

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters XI

Introduced in KOF: Maximum Impact 2

Brought from other games:

Introduced in KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match

Introduced in The King of Fighters XII

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters XIII

Brought from other games:

Introduced in The King of Fighters XIV

Brought from other games:

NPC Characters

External Links

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